100th Post Woo! After four months of deliberation and 'soul searching' I have come to a conculsion that I'm a crappy writer, but that shouldn't deter me from posting, because I love what I do. Anyhow, I'm finally happy to get this story progressing. I am not planning a very long fan fiction, roughly ten chapters to say the least.
Before you start I'd like to explain a few things so confusion doesn't ensue. I am using real geographical locations. That means the the pokemon regions we all have come to know and love are in Japan. (Except Unova)
(Ex: Kyushu = Hoenn) There's an image at the end if you still don't get it. :)That also means that characters will have names based on their nationalities. So let's disregard that language barrier, it's fantasy after all. Names and cities will be to named to their respective country. I will have spoilers at the end to clarify cities and names. (Thanks Bulbapedia!)
This story includes an orginal character, but the setting of the story is based on the Pokemon Emerald game-canon. I don't want to spoil a specific year, but the events in this story take place less than a decade after the game ends.
-The orginal Chapter One was Beta read by psyanic. Without his insight I wouldn't have thought up of new way to tackle my story.
Chapter One- An Icy Situation
After what seemed like a hour long hike the pair of climbers finally reached the summit of the small mountain that over looked the vast white tundra. The sun had set and hiking in almost pitch-darkness was enough to make even an experienced hiker a little on the edge. The first person that reached the summit grabbed his partner’s hand and helped her up the crag. As soon as she took her first few steps on the peak she fell to her knees and hit the floor in complete exhaustion. The shallow snow and dirt mixture cushioned her fall, a small resemblance to crashing on a bed.
“Haruka, are you okay?” The man questioned.
“I think we should have just made camp at the base of the mountain”, Haruka said slightly winded. The man smiled and shook his head. He placed his hand on her arm and helped her up. Lugging a 40 pound backpack around all day was taking its toll on her.
“Come on, we need to set up our tents.” He said as he pulled out a rectangular and chrome lighter from his pocket. Fifteen minutes later they both sat across from each other, looking down at small dim fire.
“How much wood did you gather from the foothill?”
“Enough to last us a few hours”, said the man as he fed a small dry twig into blaze. Haruka sighed as small embers floated and froze in the cold air. She grabbed her pack that sat beside her and pulled out two aluminum cans. She handed one, from over the fire, to the man in front of her.
“Yum, frozen beans are my favorite!” The man said sarcastically.
Haruka didn’t reply and instead held the can over the fire to heat it up. The man pulled out a small dagger that was strapped on the side of his backpack and stabbed the can from the top. He slowly opened the can of frozen beans.
“We should be reaching the Ranger base tomorrow morning. Hopefully we won’t miss the Articuno.” The man said. Haruka didn’t say anything again and continued to hold the can over the small fire. The man finished opening the second can and threw the dagger into the frozen dirt between his feet. He then held the can out into the fire next to Haruka’s ski-glove covered hand.
"You want me to open that up for before it heats?"
“Izaya,” Haruka said quietly, “I don’t think we’re going to make it.” Izaya placed his head down and exhaled out his mouth. Izaya and Haruka have been lost out in the south Antarctic tundra for three nights now. Not only has the food situation gotten worse, but the weather seems to be getting colder each night.
“How do you know the Ranger base is close?” She questioned hopelessly. “If you didn’t leave the stupid map back in New Zealand we wouldn’t be in this mess!” She exclaimed. “It’s your fault Izaya!” Izaya stood up quietly and turned around to face his tent.
“I know it is”, He said before he went into his tent. Haruka took the warm can of beans from the fire and placed it on her lap. Haruka felt poignant almost instantly.
Black soot and charred twigs now lay on the ground where the fire once burned. A very light snowfall began raining down, probably from the altitude. Morning had just begun, although it was still dark the sun had begun to rise over the eastern horizon. Izaya stood a few feet from the edge of the summit and gazed toward the west. Haruka slowly crawled out of her tent and stood up.
Izaya felt her presence instantly. “Sleep well?”
“About last night, I’m sorry it’s just I ...” She disregarded his question and felt that an apology was in order. She isn’t the type of person to snap over something that was far out of her reach.
“I know. You’re frustrated. The worst thing we could do now is lose hope.” Izaya said, cutting her apology short. “We should head west. The Ranger base is near a place called Glacier Cove. It’s near the ocean and if we head west we should reach the it.”
Haruka approached Izaya and stood beside him. She stared off into the western horizon and deeply gazed at the flat tundra, below her. There were small patches of snow, vegetation, and rock as far as the eye could see. She was sure that they wouldn’t reach any form of civilization in the morning. It could be that Izaya might have miscalculated their current position. He’s just now taking his first glimpse of the area.
“Are you sure we should be heading this way?”
“I know it looks like a longshot. I’m sure the sea is this way.”
“We only have enough food for today.” Haruka starkly reminded him.
“It won’t matter. We’ll reach the Ranger base today, I’m sure of it.” Haruka was a little skeptical, but after enduring three nights out in the cold it didn’t matter as long as they were going somewhere. She went back to the small campsite and began packing her things. It was going to be a long day.
A freezing chill had begun to sweep the flat snow covered surface as a light powdery snow began raining down. The mountains were nowhere to be found behind them and the sea felt like it was still hundreds of miles away. Haruka was exhausted and trailing a bit behind. Somehow, Izaya still had the strength to keep going, but in truth he was more tired than Haruka. The only thing that kept him going was finding out if he was right.
Behind the thick orange-gray clouds, the sun was already starting to set. He didn’t want to believe that they’d have to spend another night out in the cold. After a whole day of travel the ocean or civilization for that matter was still nowhere to be found.
Izaya stopped dead in his tracks. “Set up your tent”, he said as he threw his pack down and sat on it.
“Izaya you said we’d reach the Ranger base today. We can’t stop here”, Haruka said as soon as she caught up to the exhausted man.
“It’s pointless we’d freeze to death if we tried to travel at night, besides I’m beat up.”
“We aren’t going to give up-” Izaya turned his head toward Haruka and looked onto her blue eyes. They looked a teary, like if she was about to cry, although he was too tired to even care about emotions at that point. He looked away from her and began gazing at the somber clouds above him.
“Get up, we’re not stopping”, Haruka said as she grabbed and pulled Izaya’s arm. Izaya didn’t budge. He was in a state of tranceand self-acceptance. Izaya felt he was going to die out in the tundra. The only thing left to do was to admire the deadly beauty of the snow that landed on him. The snowfall felt like it was getting heavier with each passing second. The tiny flakes of snow could cover his entire body if he sat for a lengthy amount of time.
“Izaya!” Her yell snapped him back into reality. “We have to go.”
“I’m not going anywhere.” He replied blankly. The world he was in felt peaceful. All his troubles seemed to have melted away. He wasn’t lost in that world, he was home.
“Humph, fine, stay here for all I care!” Haruka left him where he sat and continued walking forward. She was angry and she couldn’t bear to look at him for another second. Izaya, tired, fell down on the snow and closed his eyes. It felt good to finally rest, but he knew that if he stayed on the ground he would freeze to death. He reopened his eyes to a dense brume and a strong gust, it was a complete whiteout.
For a split second he couldn’t tell if he as alive or not. He stood up almost instantly and found himself in a heavy blizzard, only able to see only a few feet in front of him.
“Haruka, where are you?” He yelled as loud as he could, unfortunately the sound of the gale force winds made his voice imperceptible. Haruka would barely be able to hear him even if she was standing right next to him. He placed his forearm on his forehead and continued walking forward, fighting the strong snowstorm with every step. A few minutes into the storm he found Haruka laying in the snow face first and unconscious. He ran up to her as fast as he could with knees deep in the snow. He turned her around, placed his finger on her neck, and began looking for a pulse. Her heart was still beating. He guessed she might have fainted out in the blizzard. Izaya then began to violently shake her from her shoulders, hoping to bring her back into conciseness.
“Haruka, wake up! Wake up Haruka!” He yelled. Izaya didn’t receive a response.
“Somebody help! Help, is anybody out there?” Izaya yelled desperately. No response, he’s not sure if anybody could hear him under the powerful gusts that blew around him. He took off his jacket and wrapped it around his hands. Izaya then began digging into the snow, hoping to make a small shelter. After ten minutes the small trench was complete, he then created a small barrier against the direction of the wind so it wouldn’t cave in. He pushed Haruka into the hole then himself. He sealed the entrance with a block of snow, but left a small gap for ventilation.
Their chances for survival would be much higher if they stayed in the snow than on it. Izaya covered himself in his jacket and hugged Haruka to retain each other’s warmth. He closed his eyes in the darkness, fighting off sleep. He didn’t know what to do. The blizzard could last hours, even days, then after that, what then? They would still be lost. If the blizzard didn’t kill them, hunger and exhaustion would.
Izaya suddenly opened his eyes to a yellow light bulb dangling above him. He sat up instantly, realizing he was no longer in the hole he dug.
“Whoa, take it easy.” A masculine voice next to him said. Izaya was dumbstruck. He turned his head to the direction of the voice and saw a man who looked like in his mid-twenties, sitting on a recliner with his feet resting on the end. The man wore a warm-looking green turtle neck shirt made out of what looked like wool. His heavy leather black boots slightly drooped at the end of the chair. This man looked tall, even sitting down.
“Who are you?”
“My name is Dylan”, said the man as he stood up. His anticipation was right, this man was tall, probably past the six foot range. Izaya slipped the warm blankets off his body and stepped out of bed. To his surprise, his hands were tightly wrapped in bandages. Dylan walked over to Izaya and forced him to lie down.
“I said take it easy and lay down. You’re exhausted and your hands have frostnip.”
“Your partner, she’s fine. I would be more concerned about you right now, you’re pale.” Izaya obeyed and feel flat on his back; his head resting on a soft polyester fiber pillow. He tried to pull the sheets back on himself, but couldn’t because his hands were wrapped into fists. Dylan quickly took over and covered Izaya with the sheets of blankets.
“Where is she?”
“Your partner is having a cup of hot chocolate in the kitchen.” The man walked away, sat down on the recliner, and lifted his feet. “Pretty smart to dig that shelter, but in a blizzard like that you wouldn’t have lasted the night.”
“Did you find us?”
“Not even the craziest man in the world would set a single step in that blizzard. Rescue safety rule number one, never endanger the rescuers.” The man said, sarcastically.
“If you didn’t, than who did?”
“My Beartic found you guys. A blizzard like that is nothing for an ice Pokémon. They practically live in dangerous icy conditions.” Haruka walked into the room holding a coffee mug that steamed off warmth.
“Hey you finally woke up! How do you feel?” Haruka joyfully questioned. She walked over to Izaya and sat next to him, bedside.
“Never mind me, what happened? How did we get here?”
“I woke up in almost pitch black. All I could hear was the strong gusts shifting the snow. After a few minutes a Beartic dug us up. At first I thought it was a wild Pokémon trying to eat us. Then I quickly realized Beartic don’t live in the South Pole.” Haruka laughed. “Luckily it was nearby and sensed humans out in the snow. After that the pokemon carried us to this small cabin. That Beartic belongs to this guy here.” Haruka turned to Dylan and softly grinned.
“What about you Haruka? I found you fainted in the snow.”
“I didn’t get far. I tried to find my way back to you as soon as the wind picked up. I was overwhelmed by the blizzard, I guess I panicked and passed out.”
“Haruka was just exhausted. I would be too if I was walking all-day out in the tundra. You on the other hand almost froze the tissues in your fingers making the snow cave.” Dylan said. “I’m quite surprised you guys came all this way looking for the legendary Articuno. They conjure up harsh blizzards so no humans disturb them during their breeding season.”
“Wait, were we near the Articuno?” Izaya questioned.
Dylan nodded.“Yeah. Haruka also told that you were looking for the Ranger base out here.” Dylan chuckled. “There isn’t one established in Antarctica, well at least not yet anyway. I know lost trainers tend to look for ranger outposts when they’re lost in their journeys. This place is a lost cause. I’m not even sure they’re Pokémon trainers who travel down here.” Dylan stood up and stretched his arms above his head.
“Well I’d love to stay and chat, but I got some business to take care of. I’ll work on getting you guys some transport back to Artic Village. Until then rest up and make yourselves feel at home.” Dylan then faced Haruka. “Make sure you dip his hands in some hot water every hour, he should get the feeling back in his hands by tomorrow if not today. Dylan grabbed his grey nylon jacket that was hanging on his recliner and walked out of the room. Haruka frowned and looked down at her hot chocolate. Izaya turned his head over, away from Haruka and closed his eyes.
“I’ll do it myself”, he said bitterly.
“Izaya, I’m sorry . . .”
“I don’t want to hear it, please just leave me alone.”
“What was I supposed to do? Stay there and die? You where the one who said not to give up.” Izaya stayed silent, what she said was true. He isn’t sure why he suddenly felt the urge to just sit hopelessly on the snow. It’s like he didn’t want to continue living anymore. He cleared his mind and anticipated death, a stupid thing to do. She silently shook her head and slowly walked out of the room. She bumped into Dylan on her way out.
“Trouble huh”, Dylan said as he slipped on a black beanie. “Don’t worry he’ll understand.”
“I guess”, Haruka sighed and walked over to sit on the round wooden table. “Where are you heading, if you don’t mind me asking.We’re in the middle of nowhere.”
Dylan smiled, “I’m just going to check up on that blizzard. It's been a whole night since it started and I want to see if it died down a bit.”
“You’re a Pokémon Ranger, right?” Haruka asked.
“Yes I am. Why do you ask?”
“Isn’t a Pokémon Ranger’s job to protect wild Pokémon? I’ve been here four days and I have yet to see a single wild Pokémon. That means you’re here to protect the Articuno. Are they in some sort of danger?” Dylan shook his head, his smile faded quickly. Beartic walked into the small living room holding a chest sized bright aqua blue egg. Haruka stood up and eagerly inspected the egg.
“This egg, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It doesn’t look like a Beartic laid it at all. Beartic eggs are white, so they blend with the mother’s fur.” She said as she brushed it with her hands. “What Pokémon do you think is going to hatch from it?” Dylan wasn’t a very good liar. He hated lying, but at the same time his mission was classified. Nobody, other than Rangers was supposed to know.
“Say, I should’ve asked earlier, but who exactly are you guys, Pokémon trainers? Are you trying to capture an Articuno?”
“Oh no way, I would never try to capture such a majestic and beautiful Pokémon as an Articuno. I’m here on a research trip. My father’s a Pokémon professor back in Japan.” She replied. “I guess you can say I’m a Pokémon professor in training.”
“Wait, is your last name Utsugi?” He questioned almost knowingly.
“No it’s Odamaki, my father is Professor Odamaki .He’s the leading researcher in Pokémon habitual studies in Hoenn. I’m pretty sure Mr. Utsugi is still a bachelor.” Haruka laughed.
“I’ve never been to the Hoenn region before. I hear it’s quite the tropical paradise. It’s a better place to be in than this cold hell. I’ve only been to Alima, Johto, and Kanto. As far as I know Pokémon professors are a huge deal in Japan and I’ve only met Professor Utsugi and Okido.
"Mr. Okido is a huge mentor for my father. He’s the most respected Pokémon Professor in Japan. So where you from?"
"I grew up in Unova, New York. Lived there most of my life until I became a Ranger."
"Wow, America is on the other side of the world. I'd like to go there one day. I have yet to study most of the Pokemon that live there." Dylan smiled and felt pretty proud that a smart girl such as Haruka didn't know much about the pokemon from Unova.
His eyes were downcast, “well, I’m actually on an investigation.” Dylan now felt he could trust Haruka knowing that she’s the daughter of a respected Pokémon professor. "This cabin isn’t mine. It’s borrowed by a man who actually does live out here. I had him relocated, for the time being of course." He made eye-contact with her. "The fact of the matter is you and Izaya aren’t safe out here."
“Why’s that?” Haruka questioned. Dylan walked over to Haruka and gently removed the egg from the Beartic’s arms.
“I’m extremely certain this Pokémon egg belongs to an Articuno.” Dylan said looking down at it uneasily. Haruka was speechless. She was astonished that the Pokémon Ranger actually had a legendary Pokémon’s egg in his arms.
“Beartic and I found this egg lying in the snow four days ago. I’m highly suspicious that somebody might have managed to steal the egg from the mother’s nest. I’m not too sure how they got away with stealing from a powerful Pokémon.”
They were probably on the run from the mother who sought to kill them. Maybe they escaped with their lives entact or maybe they were killed and the mother was unable to find the egg. Whatever the case may be, somebody wants the egg and would do anything to get it back. After Dylan explained this Haruka, she sat back on the chair and sat with a blank stare. She didn’t know what to make of the situation.
“Is the egg healthy?” Haruka asked worryingly.
“Yes, it’s still warm, luckily, and the egg has shaken, so the chick is still alive.” Haruka was relieved and took a sip of her hot chocolate. Dylan gave the egg back to Beartic to keep warm and grabbed a chair next to Haruka.
“I’m telling you this for your personal safety and your friend’s. I need you to go home, this place isn’t safe. You were lucky you managed to survive a three day and night journey out in this hellish ice box. You need to understand the world isn’t a safe place. I think it was a horrible idea you and Izaya came down here without your Pokémon.”
Haruka stood up a bit agitated. “It’s just I; I mean we, we wanted to see the Articuno. We wanted to record them and get to know them.” Dylan looked back at his Beartic and then turned his head to Haruka. He wasn’t anticipating a negative response. He hoped she would have listened to him without question.
“I’m going to try and return the egg to the Articuno. Maybe they might stop blowing the blizzard when they sense I have one of their reggs. I need you to stay here and watch over your friend. He needs your help right now.” Haruka nodded silently. Dylan stood up and waved at his Pokémon, he was ready to go into the blizzard and return the egg. Before he was able to open to door into the icy tundra Izaya walked out of the room and glared at him.
“I heard everything and we’re going.” Izaya urged stolidly.
“You’re not going anywhere, not in your condition and besides, when did I say I was going to allow any of you to go? This is serious business. You can be killed if things don’t go well.”
“You think we don’t know that?” Izaya reminded him.
“I’m not letting you go, that’s final. Don’t argue with me. I’m not going to be responsible if a couple of kids die on my watch.” Haruka rolled her eyes away from Izaya and crossed her arms. She didn’t want anything to do with him, but at the same time his intrusiveness bothered her.
“Izaya listen to Dylan and stop being arrogant. He saved our lives.”
"We came here to see Articuno. We risked our lives doing that. Now that we’re so close to finally seeing the legendary Pokémon up close, you throw in the towel? You think that’s fair?" Izaya angrily questioned. Haruka turned and glanced Izaya’s amber eyes. To some degree she felt he was right, but on the other hand she felt Dylan had more authority in the situation.
Damn kid is stubborn. “I have a moral responsibility to your parents to make sure you’re safe.”
“How old do you think we are? We can take care of ourselves, we’re adults. I’m eighteen and Haruka is nineteen.” Dylan sighed he didn’t know what to do anymore. He was starting to think telling Haruka about the Articuno was a huge mistake. Somehow he thought the kids would stay put if he told them the truth. He never met a person who openly defied his authority whenever he conducted official Ranger business.
Suddenly in an instant the room lit up in a giant white flash. They all turned to source of the light which resonated from the Beartic’s arms. The egg was shaking and glowed in a magnificent bright ivory color. The Pokémon egg was about to hatch.
Haruka Odamaki = May Birch
Dr. Odamaki = Professor Birch
Dr. Yukinari Okido = Professor Oak
Dr. Utsugi = Professor Elm